The Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine always creates new opportunities for students and developes legal education through interesting studying process, contests for future lawyers. Yes, students of legal clinics could review their knowledge in the field of law, as well as to improve the skills of legal practice during the Student Internship “Responsible Business and Human Rights” and the Tournament on counseling on financial issues.
The competitions brought together talented legal clinics students in Irpin, who competed for the title of being the best in solving practical legal cases and advising clients. The events took place on October 17 at the University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.
On the eve of the competition, the Head of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine Yuliia Lomzhets addressed the participants with a congratulatory speech and wished success to the law students. She emphasized:
“Students-clinicians are the best and most active. Regular counseling is not enough for them. Therefore, legal clinics are constantly looking for new approaches, methods and forms of work. The Association also joins. We are increasing the number of events for the student audience. Street Law Festival, the Student Internship “UP” and the Financial Counseling Tournament have been added to our traditional Olympiad this year.”
Acting rector of the hosting University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, Oleh Shevchuk has also congratulated the participants, he commented:
“In recent years, law students of leading universities in Ukraine are increasingly involved in the work of legal clinics, where under the supervision of curators, they provide a free legal aid to the poor, increasing their theoretical knowledge and gaining practical skills for further professional activity. Legal clinics not only create opportunities for students to practice in the legal profession, performing analytical and direct human rights work, but also stimulate self-improvement, forming a new generation of young lawyers.”
STUDENTS INTERNSHIP ‘UP’
One of the contests was a competition to solve legal cases ‘Responsible Business and Human Rights’ (the second stage of the UP Project). UP combined training, applied research of living practice and a competitive component. The competition created opportunities for the implementation of innovative methods of teaching law and the development of students’ competencies, which are necessary for a modern lawyer through the study of trend topics in law.
The goal of student internship Мета студентського стажування ‘Responsible Business and Human Rights’:
- to promote the development in the university community of an understanding, responsible, and respectful to human rights business;
- involvement of legal clinic students in practical research and solving real cases in this topic.
After the first stage of the internship – writing a legal essay and its public presentation, the second final stage took place in Irpin – solving real practical research in business and human rights and competition of student teams in solving a legal case.
‘In the Project UP The Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine opened a new direction in the development of practical skills of law students, which simultaneously motivates them to research, and makes science interesting. Also, one of the new things is cooperation with business, which expands opportunities for students and promotes dialogue between business and education in the direction of its improvement to the requirements of the employer. I am grateful to all the teams, and especially to their leaders, who supported and motivated their students, believed in the new format of the ALCU event. This is our first UP and I am sure it is not the last, but the next will be even more interesting’, – commented the coordinator of the Student Internship, Member of the Board of the Association Kateryna Datsko.
The participants of the second stage of the internship were 4 teams – the winners of the essay competition ‘Responsible Business and Human Rights’:
- Legal clinic of the State University of Economics and Technology
- Legal clinic ‘Liberta’ of West Ukrainian National University
During the second stage of the ‘UP’ contest, the teams of legal clinics presented the prepared legal positions. Practical cases for solving by the teams were provided by the ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, which also prepared nice gifts for the participants. Significant support for the ‘UP’ contest provided non-governmental organization “Kryvyi Rih Foundation for Future”.
The judges Andrii Halaii, Olena Shakirova, Serhii Movchan, Anna Fedorenko and Oleh Martynenko have been evaluating the presentations.
One of the judges Andrii Halaii commented: ‘The ‘UP’ contest“Конкурс UP demonstrated that firstly, students’ scientific researches can be practical and useful. Secondly, the Association of Legal Clinics can be the leader of such a restart of thoroughly plagiarized and devalued science’.
After two rounds, the winner of the contest became the Legal clinic ‘Liberta’ of the West Ukrainian National University. The second place took the Legal clinic of the National University ‘Kyiv-Mohyla Academy’.
We remind that the Student Internship has become part of the legal vector of the III International Scientific Congress Society of Ambient Intelligence 2020.
TOURNAMENT ON CONSULTATION ON FINANCIAL ISSUES
Another unique event of the Association, held in Irpin, was the Tournament on advising clients on financial issues. The tournament is a competition among legal clinics of Ukraine, which simulated the process of accepting a client in a legal office with the participation of two consulting students (participants of a legal clinic) acting as lawyers (lawyers, legal advisers, legal practitioners) and a client played by invited actors.
The counseling tournament, like other similar competitions, is designed to develop in law students the skills of client interviewing, professional ethics, planning and analysis in the process of building relationships, the ability to provide initial advice at the level of ‘lawyer-client’ during the reception in legal office.
The coordinator of the Tournament, the Member of the Board of the Association Mariia Tsypiashchuk told the audience:
‘I am very happy that we were able to hold this Tournament. I hope he found it useful. First of all – for students and now, returning to their legal clinics, they will be able to apply new skills in real counseling. The counseling tournament has become, in fact, another format of the Association’s work towards the practical training of future lawyers’.
The Tournament became a training event for the participants of legal clinics, who are involved to the grant support of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST) during 2019-2020. Respectively, the topic of the Tournament related to the topic of protection of the financial services consumers.
Thanks to complex fabulas developed on the basis of real appeals to legal clinics, students were able to try their own knowledge of the rights protection of financial services consumers. In particular, in such common aspects as online microcredit, protection against financial fraud, observance of the rights of internally displaced persons in the context of repayment of deposits and fulfillment of credit obligations to a bank whose branch is located in the temporarily occupied territory.
In order to participate in the Tournament, preliminary selection was held, after which the following legal clinics fought for the victory:
- Legal laboratory of the clinic education methods ‘PRO BONO’ of the East Ukrainian Volodymyr Dahl National University
- Legal clinic of the State University of Economics and Technology
- Legal clinic of the Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
- Legal clinic of the University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine
- Legal clinic of the University of Customs and Finance
- Legal clinic of the Yurij Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
Participants were evaluated by a professional jury: practicing attorneys, representatives of the notary and other areas of professional legal activity. In particular, these are:
- Oksana Vynohradska,
- Andrii Volkov,
- Maryna Havryliuk,
- Petro Levchuk,
- Vikotoriia Lysenko,
- Hanna Lysenko,
- Yaroslav Lysenko,
- Yaroslav Malyk,
- Olena Marycheva,
- Olena Myronenko-Shulhan,
- Lesia Sydoruk,
- Oleh Tkachuk.
After the participants’ performances, the winner of the competition became the team of the Legal Clinic of the University of Customs and Finance. The second place has taken the Legal clinic of the National University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine.
The semifinalists of the Tournament were the teams of the Legal clinic of the Law Faculty of the Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University and the Legal Clinic of the State University of Economics and Technology.
Tetiana Sholkova, the event organizer and Member of the Board of the Association, spoke about the challenges during the Tournament and the ‘UP’ contest. According to her, the quarantine added to the difficulties due to the actual absence of the staff of the legal clinic and students of the educational and scientific law institute, who are always ready to help.
Tetiana Sholkova summarized:
‘There were only a few assistants, but we succeeded. We managed to form a professional jury, which included lawyers and civil servants from Kyiv and the region, to meet the teams, as well as to organize a teleconference with the President of the Polish Foundation of Legal Clinics and the Polish teams. We have ensured fair competitions. I am grateful to the Directorate of the Educational and Scientific Institute of Law, the Rector’s office of the University of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, the teaching staff of the Department of Financial Law, as well as the Board of the Association of Legal Clinics of Ukraine for assistance in competitions organization. I also want to thank my students from the legal clinic for their help. These competitions helped to form a truly effective and efficient team’.
The events were conducted thank to support of the U.S. Agency for International Development in the frame of grant provided by the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST).